Barrington Relay For Life sets record
Thousands of volunteers and residents, including many cancer survivors, are now taking a well deserved rest after walking throughout the night as part of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Barrington at Barrington High School Stadium in Barrington.
More than 2000 people participated in the overnight event, which raised more than $364,000 for the fight against cancer. Participants included more than 132 teams, hundreds of survivors and caregivers, and the lighting of more than 1,300 luminaria to honor loved ones.
"This community really came together in a tremendous demonstration of caring and generosity this weekend," said Joanne Dalessandro, who co-chaired the event with her daughter Dina.
"Having cancer is hard, but walking alongside survivors and caregivers provides us with such power and hope. That helped keep us focused and inspired to raise as much money as possible to help save lives and to walk around the clock in honor of those in our community who have been touched by cancer."
Events and community involvement went "round" the clock. Highlights included a survivor dinner with over 200 survivors which was made possible through a generous grant from the Barrington Area Community Foundation with food served and provided by Millrose Restaurant in Barrington.
The Relay For Life of Barrington is also attempting to set a new world record with 17,000 cupcakes displayed on a special tower donated and built by LEOPARDO Construction Company, Barrington, and Imperial Woodworking Company, Palatine, hoping to beat the 2010 Relay For Life of New Port Richey, Florida's cupcake tower record of 13,476. Cupcakes for the attempt were provided by local bakeries and most of the 100 Relay teams.
Live entertainment went round the clock and included Barrington Hills resident Ron Hawking, QuinnRowe, Premium Blend, Ten, Anne Walton, Ashika, Barrington Community Choir, Barrington High School Alumni Choir, Kevin Rowe, and BHS Band "Flounder Gus." ACS TV spokesman and local jazz singer Herb Porter sang during opening ceremonies.
"This has been an unbelievable experience as we have seen so many community groups rise to the challenge of bringing back the American Cancer Society's signature event and put our wonderful village on the map," said Dalessandro. "We are appreciative of Carol and David Nelson, Barrington, who served as Honorary Co-Chairs, and especially Kim Duchossois who challenged us with a matching grant of $50,000 for first- time event participants."
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, more than 65,270 Illinois residents will be diagnosed with cancer this year and more than 25,540 will die from the disease.
"The money raised at Relay For Life of Barrington helps fund American Cancer Society programs that are provided free to area residents to help them take steps to prevent cancer, get well when cancer strikes, fund the research that helps us better understand and prevent cancer, and fight back by empowering our voices and working with lawmakers to pass laws to defeat this disease," said Dalessandro. "Relay is all about hope and the many birthday celebrations we have to look forward to now and in the future thanks to our continuing efforts."
Relay For Life of Barrington helps make possible the Society's Patient Navigation Services program. These free support programs and services for local cancer patients and their families include Road to Recovery, which provides cancer patients transportation to and from treatments; Wig Banks, offering free wigs, turbans and other head gear; and Support for Recovery, which matches newly diagnosed patients with cancer survivors to help them cope with their diagnosis, treatment and recovery. In addition, help is available from any phone or computer 24/7 at (800) 227-2345 or IllinoisCancerHelp.org., where cancer patients and their families can meet face-to-face or call and speak with a social worker to discuss questions and concerns regarding issues such as insurance, clinical trials, financial assistance, family counseling and treatment options.
"We are so grateful to our sponsors and the many individuals who contributed to our Relay's success," said Kathleen Monteleone, American Cancer Society Regional Vice President. "I am so glad that all of us, through Relay For Life, can help provide programs that help and remove some of the worries cancer patients face so that they can stay focused on getting better."
A raffle and silent auction with over 40 different "take a chance" baskets were donated by numerous Barrington businesses which raised over $8700.
"I know that next year's event may seem a long way off now, it's never too early to sign up your team or to contact us if you would like to help with planning," said Dalessandro, Barrington Relay event chair. "The fight against cancer will not be won alone. We would love to have you join the team."
If you missed Relay For Life of Barrington, but would still like to make a donation, or want to learn more about Relay For Life or patient programs, visit www.relayforlifebarrington or call the American Cancer Society at (847) 368-1166.
Donations can also be mailed to American Cancer Society, 1114 Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60004.